Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Foetry Members as Writers

Back in the Foetry days, critics often accused foetry members as being non-writers; I kept mum on this topic, but, now, I just want to set the record straight. Those of us who were Foetry administrators and moderators are writers, although not all of us are poets. Also, most of the top-level administrators and moderators have come "out," identity wise. The day I was promoted to moderator, I identified myself. Nothing bad happened to me because no one cared. I'm out here as well: Jennifer Semple Siegel.

Matt is brilliant (in my opinion) and even headed. Intellectually, he's above me, but not in an intimidating way; I just sit back and enjoy his ideas and take from them what I can. I sincerely hope he finds his place as a writer and discovers a publisher who sees the value of his ideas. I hope he'll jump in and write something here; unlike the folks in his Jungian forum, Post Foetry will not ban him for differing ideas and opinions.

Al does shoot from the hip, but he got your attention, didn't he? But he's a writer as well. I'll say no more.

Nomi, I believe, also writes, but she can verify that for herself.

Monday Love ought to be a writer (if he's not already); while I didn't always agree with his posts, I still appreciated and enjoyed them. I hope he eventually comes here to post.

Christopher Woodman is a well-published poet who happened to get caught in the Tupelo snare.

I am both an academic and a writer. Furthermore, I do hold an M.F.A. from Goddard College, which probably sets me apart from other Foetry folks in that I do hold the M.F.A., although Goddard is anything but a traditional college. I loved my time there, having met a bunch of other malcontents and misfits and, at least in one case, a likable rogue.

I have published my fiction and non-fiction in both regional and national publications, and I self-published my book of short stories--I see no shame in that, and I have an odd habit of not caring what others think. I did it with eyes wide open. Besides, three of the stories in the collection had been published elsewhere.

During my time at Foetry (June 2005 to May 2007), I fiinished the first draft of a memoir and revised it three times. One more quick line editing, and then, for better or worse, I'm done with it. I have started a novel in which the main characters have working websites (complete with their domain names) and am simultaneously writing a non-fiction (not a memoir) work. I have another idea for a novel, but I want to finish what I have started.

During my time at Foetry, I never publicized the titles to my own work; I didn't want critics to say I was in this just to promote my own work, and I won't do it here, either. My name is googleable, and that's enough. I have other blogs and belong to other forums and am not shy about plugging my work in those places.

I once heard that if you don't show up in Google, you don't exist. Often, my students don't have a Google presence, so I have The Writer's Blog, a blog dedicated to their work, even my literature students. Sometimes, their work is better than the writing students, but that doesn't surprise me, for good reading often results in better writing--try telling that to the rhet comp people.

I like the idea that I often offer my students their first web existence. I do plug my short story collection there, but not overtly and only because our students ought to know that their instructors have lives outside of academe. Mostly, I'm proud of my students who continue to surprise me with their creativity, which is why I created the blog in the first place.

Last semester, I taught a full load, including a brand new course (at least for me): African-American Literature. I'm Irish, redheaded, and extremely white, but there it is. I loved every minute of it. I still wrote, sometimes during exams, sometimes during office hours, but I wrote. My Foetry participation fell off, which is why I feel partially responsible for Foetry's demise and one reason I decided to start this blog. Forum protocols are somewhat beyond my technical abilities, but I do understand blogging and doing website work (I have had my own website since 2001, though I have used FrontPage since 2004).

Any technical abilities I own have largely been self-taught--had I been born 20 years later, I'd be a total techie geek, but I'm 56, and change occurs slowly. I came to the internet kicking and screaming; back in 1995 I told everyone, "No way," and I forbade my students to use online sources, even "verified" sources. Sounds funny now, because now I can't imagine life before the web.

Where else can one meet friends all over the world?


Ms. Snark said...

Hello, Last month I noted on my blog ( you guys had retired, and now I see you're back, well, sort of.

I hope you can get back some of that old Foetry punch. Otherwise, you might as well pack it and go home.

Ms. Snark

Ms. Snark said...

P.S. I'm NOT the now-retired MISS Snark, the literary agent.

Ms. Snark again